General Organization for Social Insurance
Saudi Arabia
Asia and Pacific

SANED: Unemployment insurance initiative to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic

Implementation year

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the largest threats to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The lockdown was about to force employers to terminate their employees because of the inability to pay their wages. The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) of Saudi Arabia was quick and agile in submitting to the legislators a recommendation by which employers are not required to pay wages of employees, employees can keep their jobs and the unemployment insurance (SANED) would compensate those employees.

The recommendation was approved by the King, and a committee with multi-ministry representatives was set up to regulate the initiative. The compensation covers 100 per cent of Saudis working in small businesses, and 70 per cent for medium- and large-sized businesses.

Initially, SANED initiative was planned for a three-months period only. Then, it was extended for additional periods. The time exhausted from idea initiation to execution was no more than two weeks, and the technical solution to receive all compensation requests was completed in five days, all while working remotely because of lockdowns.

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